Flush-Out Pipe Sprays Water Into Air for Five Hours in Venice

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A wreck in Venice caused a fire hydrant to spray water into the air for nearly nine hours before it was shut off.

    A busted flush-out pipe gushed water into the air for five hours after a vehicle hit a fire hydrant in Venice Sunday night.

    Officers responded around 7 p.m. to a vehicle that struck a flush-out pipe - resembling a fire hydrant - near Washington Boulevard and Marr Street, officials said.

    It was reported that a pick-up truck driver 

    During its peak, the geyser reached up to 100 feet in the air, and 400 gallons of water a minute flooded the streets.

    “It’s kind of scary,” said Joel Garcia, who works at a nearby gas station. “There’s been a lot of water that’s been pouring out.”

    A handful of city workers spent most of the night trying to shut off the water. The water flow stopped completely around 4 a.m.

    "In California, and they're in a massive drought and that must have been half the water supply going out into the street," said Dougall Pennefather, an Austrailian tourist who saw the geyser from his room at a Jolly Roger Motel across the street.

    Several witnesses questioned why it took so long to shut off the water, but a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works said it was complicated when it became clear the shutoff valve was buried in debris.

    "Trace back to a 24-inch main line this pipe branches off of and shut that valve. We found that the seal on that valve wasn’t actually shutting the water supply off completely," said Bob Spencer, an agency spokesman.

    Spencer said about 120,000 gallons of water was lost - the equivalent of what the average family uses in a year.

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